Dedicated to all the SadGurus
All that is here is Ishvara.
This body which I thought is mine, I recognize now, that I did not create this. I simply hold it in trust. For whom? For its owner – Ishvara. I did not create this body nor the mind-stuff. Nor did my parents .... they knew nothing of how all the systems here work – the skeletal, muscular, endrocine, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, reproductive systems – what a wonderfully intelligent community of cells living in harmony to provide a grand instrument for me, to use and experience this amazing world in which I find myself placed.
Like the body-mind-sense complex was given to me, so too is this universe. I, a simple conscious being, endowed with this body-mind-sense complex, did not create this universe. It is given. The intelligence that pervades this universe through a complex network of laws of cause and effect, is the same intelligence that pervades this body-mind-sense complex, making all of it what it is.
This super intelligence has to rest in a conscious being – and that conscious being who is endowed with this super intelligence is who I call Ishvara. Ishvara is the cause of this universe which includes the body-mind-sense complex I am endowed with. Usually we in the universe we find there are two types of causes. For example, a watch has a watch-maker, the intelligent cause as well as the material it is made of . So in the case of the universe the intelligent cause is Ishvara. And where did Ishvara get the material that this universe is made of?
After all before the universe came into being, there was no time, no space, no material . There was only Ishvara. So the material for this universe could have come from only place – that is Ishvara. Meaning Ishvara is both the intelligent cause as well as the material for this universe.
This truth has huge implications. It means the body-mind-sense complex that I think of as ‘mine’ – is really not mine. It belongs to Ishvara all the way. I am just the simple conscious being, who is aware of this body-mind complex, who has been entrusted with it, to use as an INSTRUMENT for participating enthusiastically, alertly and cheerfully in Ishvara’s universe.
The scriptures point out that Ishvara in reality is One, Without A Second, ekam eva advitiyam, partless whole. Ishvara in reality has never changed to become many, Ishvara only appears as this manifold universe through his inscrutable and undefinable power to do so – that power has been given a name Maya. Maya is not independent of Ishvara. Maya is not a parallel reality to Ishvara. Maya is Ishvara’s shakti and so fully dependent on Ishvara. Ishvara can withdraw his shakti at any time – Ishvara is independent of Maya.
Based on this understanding, I take refuge in Ishvara. Ishvara is my strength, my Guru, my friend, my well-wisher, my father, my mother, my all. I look upon this universe of which this body-mind-sense complex is a part (I say this, because it is Ishvara’s, not mine) as a grand stage in which the drama of life is going on. Endowed with this body-mind-sense complex, I am an ACTOR in this drama, playing various roles, whose scripts are written by Ishvara. As far as living this life is concerned, all I have to do is follow the scripts and play my part, even as an actor does, with enthusiasm, alertness and cheerfulness. I do not invest a sense of reality in roles I am playing, nor in the situations that I play them in – because I know it is a drama. I am centered in Ishvara, not on this body-mind-sense complex. Ishvara has the script for this body-mind-sense complex all ready – I don’t resist His script. Sometimes it is not easy, especially when the script is unfavourable to this body-mind complex – then I simply affirm Ishvara is my strength, my well-wisher and allow myself to accept His script cheerfully. Om Harih Sharanam
Ishvara is my well-wisher. I accept that. Ishvara is also the karma-phalla-daata. I used to find this very difficult to reconcile these two aspects of Ishvara. The law of karma by itself is inert. It is Ishvara who gives the karma-phalla. How can my well-wisher dole out so much pain? I realize now that pain, physical or emotional has a purpose.
The cause of pain, in the karma model, is a prior unworthy action, an action not in keeping with the harmony of Ishvara’s universe. What caused that unworthy action? The sense of apurnata (incompletness). Where did the apurnata comes from? Because I took the body-mind-complex to be both ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Why did I do that when it is not true? Because of ignorance.
So the presence of pain, points out that there was ignorance behind the pain. That ignorance must go. For that ignorance to go, one must pursue knowledge and discover that one is free of this body-mind-sense complex.
My taking refuge in Ishvara, my surrender to Ishvara is the natural outcome of this knowledge of my truth. This surrender means that I accept fully that all that is here is Ishvara, and all that is here is ok, it is all meant to be exactly how it is meant to be. I don’t have to run after anything here in this universe, because nothing here has the capacity to give me what I wanted all the time (before the surrender) namely security and happiness 24x7 without a trace of sorrow. So now I can allow myself to fold up my mind and simply rest in Ishvara, my home, my refuge, my Self.
Om Tat Sat